The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Martin’s Likely Right … And I Hate It!

Posted on November 30, 2009

Exacerbated by both the detainee situation and the use of negative flyers branding opposition members as anti-Semites, the word “thug” has entered firmly into the lexicon of Parliament.  It’s almost as if this is the kind of naked contemptuousness that the government feels it was born for and it relishes in the battle. We’re not used to this kind of blood-sport in what is normally a sanguine Canada, but following four years of constant aggression, there is now the growing sense that if something isn’t done to halt it in its tracks, the global view of this country being peaceable in nature is doomed in a highly competitive and resource-hungry world. Offering his thoughts on how to respond to thugland, Globe and Mail columnist…

Carpet Bombing For Dummies

Posted on November 29, 2009

The attack on the public service continues, with the recent strident statements against diplomat Richard Colvin being the most troubling and intense. It strings out a pattern of behaviour now over three years in duration. We weren’t surprised at the response to Colvin, having seen it on numerous occasions previously on everything from the Parliamentary Budget Officer to the former president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Linda Keen. Her judgement was totally questioned then, as Colvin’s is now. Government officials like Peter MacKay are correct when they say that without facts it’s impossible to make a true judgement, but it’s how we actually get those proofs that reveals the attitude of this government. To acquire the evidence needed to make a conclusion there…

The Proof Is In The Persistence

Posted on November 27, 2009

The House of Commons has been raucus, unseemly and somewhat less than productive in these last number of years.  I was elected three years ago today, in a by-election.  I was a food bank director and professional firefighter, but nothing could have prepared me for what was about to follow.  On the day I was sworn in, I was was sworn at.  I had only just been ushered to my seat after being welcomed by the Speaker and was then informed I could assume my seat.  I had to idea where it was and as I “hunted and pecked” through the aisles looking for my chair, there were snickers from around the chamber.  It was fun. A few minutes later, I took part in…

Canada Takes The Lead

Posted on November 25, 2009

For all its problems, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) does one thing very well: it leads the world in an effective approach for alleviating food shortages around the globe.  In fact, at the recent World Summit on Food Security in Rome last week, Canada stood alone in not only living up to its international commitment on food disbursements but also in detailing how it would implement those promises.  In a world where governments are beginning to scale back because of heavy deficit loads, CIDA’s leadership at the summit drew appreciative reviews from the 150 heads of state, ministers and representatives from international organizations that attended the summit. CIDA has pressed other donor nations to look past the needed supply of foodstuffs and commit…

Canada’s Detainees

Posted on November 24, 2009

Our jaws dropped.  In responding to a query in Question Period today about why more isn’t being done to fight child poverty, Human Resources Minister Diane Finley retorted that child poverty rates are now half of what they were when the Liberals were in power.  The NDP, Bloc and Liberals all looked at one another in disbelief, for the numbers don’t come near to substantiating her claim. But this has been the way it is for Canada’s children ever since the pledge was unanimously made twenty years ago today (1989) in the House of Commons to end child poverty by the year 2000.  I was in the observation gallery that day and as a food bank director I experienced the same flush of pride…